The State of Interfaith is a state of mind, a reference point, for all thinking on spirituality. This starts with a world view that believes all faiths are part of the whole, including those states of mind on religion and faith that deny the existence of one central force or energy, regardless of the name given to that source, such as G-d, HaShem, Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Mohammed, the Alpha and the Omega.
Interfaith is a way of believing that “we”, all inhabitants of the earth, be they human, animal, spirit or other, are part of the whole. In terms of faiths, interfaith would have us all accept the idea that the central One is way too huge to be contained in one container, i.e. one faith. Those who ascribe to interfaith realize that no one path is the only path and no one religion or faith is the right one. Interfaith philosophy teaches “never instead of always in addition to” (Yiddish quote translated to English; ascribed to Rebbe Joseph Gelberman, v’sholom, founder of The New Seminary, The New Synagogue, The All Faiths’ Seminary and the Temple of Light as well as the Rabbinical Seminary International, all of NYC).
Rabbi Gelberman, of blessed memory, taught that interfaith is represented by a menorah with many lights on it. Each faith is one of the arms with a light. The main shaft with its shamas, its central light, represents the one source, sometimes referred to as G-d. The light of the world comes from many lights illuminating the one central source of all energy. Rebbe Gelberman used to talk about the Fractured Messiah. He contended that each of us carries a small fragment of the Messiah within us. It is only when we have come to world peace and acceptance of all entities, as part of this peace will we see the Messiah. Until that time the Messiah will remain fractured.
To that end Interfaith Rabbis and Ministers work in the name of world peace through spiritual understanding and acceptance. Interfaith dialogs endeavor to foster this spiritual understanding as we learn to appreciate, accept and honor our diversities. One can be Jewish or Christian at one’s core and still respect all of one’s neighbors regardless of religion, race, creed or orientation. Some people feel interfaith is a religion. It is really the presence of all faiths and all religions including those who claim to be more science and less faith-based yet still believe in some central life force.